A statment from the staff at CLOCC
The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis was a catalyst for widespread response across the nation. Mr. Floyd’s death came painfully soon after the killing of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville and of Ahmaud Arbery by three white men in Satilla Shores, Georgia. At the moment of his death, Mr. Arbery was out doing the very thing CLOCC promotes among children and families in Chicago – being physically active. These are just the most recent racially-motivated killings that individuals and communities of color, but in particular Black communities, have endured. In recent days, CLOCC staff came together virtually to reflect on these events, how we wanted to communicate about them, and the actions we wanted to take in response to them. This statement is a result of these collective reflections.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948, states that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Seventy-two years have passed since the writing of this Declaration and still, acts of racism, segregation, poor education, disfranchised neighborhoods, and limited job opportunities, force African Americans to cope with racial, political, social, and economic exclusions that jeopardize their health, their well-being, and their lives.
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery serve as the most recent painful reminders of our nation’s failure to recognize all individuals as human beings regardless of race. The staff of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children stands in solidarity with Black communities and others across our city and nation to declare that Black Lives Matter.
As an organization we have been committed since 2002 to our mission to confront the childhood obesity epidemic by promoting healthy and active lifestyles for all children. We have focused our efforts in communities experiencing inequitable access to healthy and affordable food, safe spaces for physical activity, and adequate forms of active transportation.
Over the past few years we have committed to a more explicit examination of the role that racism plays in shaping inequitable access to the resources, institutions, and environments that should be available to all children to support their right to live full and healthy lives. Even more recently, we have begun a process to actively identify and address the ways in which racism impacts our own practice. As an organization that convenes, collaborates, and communicates with a vast network of partners, we acknowledge that we must commit to actively listen to and elevate the voices of Black and Brown colleagues, partners, and communities as we join with countless others to dismantle pervasive systemic racism in our society at all levels.
Over the next several months we will be sharing our progress on these commitments, collaborating with new and long-standing partners on the development of solutions, and following the lead of partners who have experience and expertise far greater than our own in the fight for equity and justice. We humbly continue on this journey with our network and look forward to the work to come.
The CLOCC Staff